Some Christian families started to trickle back following the truce between the regime forces and the rebels but life will never go back the way it was. Most Muslim families were not allowed to return to their homes. This year, Christmas in Homs will have a big void, its Muslim merrymakers.
RELIGION - C'est aujourd'hui Noël et il est grand temps de mettre en lumière certains faits avérés, mais souvent oubliés de certains chrétiens vivant loin de nos cités de banlieue.
Something is deeply awry in our nation with the world's biggest economy that lets its children be the poorest group and the younger they are the poorer they are during their years of greatest brain development. The Prince of Peace is mocked as we let a child be injured or killed by guns every thirty minutes.
And this is the heart of the Gospel! God is love. This is the truth. Jesus was also speaking of the truth of God, but the truth is that God is love. In a way this message is very vulnerable, but it has to be vulnerable, because love is vulnerable.
Most people are familiar with the story of the Ten Commandments. The short version is that God called Moses to Mount Sinai where he gave him two tablets of stone that contained the Ten Commandments.
Before the birth of Christ, the world muddled along in darkness. Humanity didn't have the awareness or power to live any other way.
I don't like -- don't approve, refuse to throw myself into -- the spirit of obligatory gift-giving. In my lifetime, this has become existentially linked to a commercial orgy that has now even co-opted the ritual angle
The beloved author Frederick Buechner tells the story about a Christmas pageant a friend of his took part in as the rector of an Episcopal church. Buechner writes:
So for those who wish to celebrate the spiritual enlightenment of the Rabbi from Galilee for his embodiment of peace and love, they can comfortably do so. Merry Christmas.
The lovely blue glass container holds a small roll of parchment on which is written the traditional Jewish prayer that begins, "Shema Yisrael." For those in the know, this mezuzah reveals that those who live in the house are Jewish.
Many stories are told of his kindness, such as the one of the poor man and his three daughters. To save the daughters from being sold into prostitution for want of dowries, St. Nicholas dropped a bag full of gold down the man's chimney.
I truly believe if American Christians stayed more focused on the message and teachings of Jesus, many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people would not have the annual angst of searching for home for the holidays.
Now that the "War on Christmas" is over -- its publicist, Fox News Bill O'Reilly, announced this finding last week -- we can survey the post-war terrain.
I am ethnically Chinese and grew up in Muslim-majority Indonesia. For years, I was subconsciously frustrated and estranged by singularly European depictions of Christian figures.
In today's topsy-turvy environment, all bets are off. Rather than focus on critical upcoming legislative elections and a major conference to help attract investments to Egypt's struggling economy, TV channels seem sidelined by matters that raise eyebrows and questions given their timing.
Until recently, my attitude toward prayer had been guided by President Harry S. Truman who said that "people who pray the loudest are the ones you lock your hen house from." Praying out loud was something I never did. Until Facebook came along.